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Rock Line, Tournai, Belgium
February 3rd 2007
Skeptical Minds, AmAndA, Ghiribizzi

Rock Line is a small venue, actually a “rock café” where the backstage is also the front stage! The nice thing about this is that as soon as you enter the room you meet with the band members, can have a chat and eventually a beer with them. The inconvenience is that the stage is tiny and the light very poor, just a few static spots and a couple of disco like gobo flowers, which does not make the life of the photographer easy. On the other hand, as you can walk beside the stage, it is an opportunity to get closer to the drummers, which is quite unusual but an interesting and vibrating experience.

The event was almost like a family event, a gathering of the friends of the bands. Actually it was! Luc, from the Tournai Prog Event association (, had organized this “special birthday show” for the birthday of his spouse. At the same time, coincidently, it was also the birthday of Michel, the guitarist of Skeptical Minds. This gives immediately an idea of the festive spirit of the evening. In his opening speech, Luc explained that tonight was a nice gathering of Belgian music, with a band from Flanders (Ghiribizzi), a band from Wallonia (AmAndA) and a band from Brussels (Skeptical Minds). The bill had not only nice geographical spread, but also the styles were varied as we had both prog and metal music. This mix was also visible in the audience. Not all music was the taste of everyone, but one thing was sure: everyone had fun.


The show started with Ghiribizzi, a progressive rock band that was founded in June 2000 by Frank Centauri (piano, vocal), Yves Simmah (synths, programming, back vocal) and Dario Frodo (guitar, vocal). The band was later extended with three other members: Little John (bass), Pete Mushroom (keyboards, lead synth, vocals) and Gino Bartolini (drums). The two latter, playing in another prog band: Quantum Fantay. Ghiribizzi is a band that is difficult to put in a box because of the many influences. They are often referred to as neo- and sympho-prog. They have released two albums with names which are as exotic as the name of the band: Zap Tepi in 2001 and Pan’ta Rhei in 2005; and have a few unreleased songs.

The sextet started the show with an ole classic “Rock & Roll” song and dived quickly into more complex music. While the three keyboards allow for complex symphonic harmonies, the guitar riffs remain omnipresent. Also the four voices offer quite some variations in the songs. This style of music, much appreciated by prog fans wasn’t much the taste of the metal heads around. Some simply said it reminded them about “old music like Genesis”, which actually may sound as a compliment for the band.

Six people and three keyboards on a small stage do not give many options in terms of mobility. While some of the members where quite into their music and showed some emotions while playing, other were just playing and even seemed a bit bored on stage, at the image of half of the audience who was impatient to see the last show of the evening. In terms of light, as explained in the introduction, there was simply nothing. The quality of the sound was correct for the size of the room and the available technical means.

01. Rock & Roll
02. Fires of Hell
03. After Darkness
04. Break Down Soon
05. Pianissimo
06. Life In A Cage
07. Satellite
08. Descent Of The Dyad
09. Remains The Same
10. The Light
11. Don’t Fear

Music 7
Performance 5
Sound 7
Light --
Total 6.3


AmAndA is an interesting and relatively unique band that can be qualified as a theatrical progressive rock. The band was created in the late 1999 and released their first album in 2002 and a demo CD in 2004 announcing their new album on which they are working hard and which we can expect in spring this year. For this occasion they have just announced a show with a classical symphonic orchestra in the Aula Magna of Louvain-la-Neuve on 2nd May 2007. The line-up is composed of the charismatic singer Thibaut de Halleux who has a very special kind of androgenic voice, Mick3 on the keyboards and back vocal, Saaam on the guitar and back vocal, Claude on the bass, Greg on the drums and Xavier who joined the band in 2005 as guitarist.


The band played five songs of the soon to be released new album and the first one, Alexandrie, will even be inedited. The music of AmAndA is very rich and relatively unique with a good combination of guitars, keyboards and voices which always have a great importance, with lyrics in French or in Latin. The compositions can be quite complex, sometimes very rhythmic or even symphonic, sometimes more melancholic. Seeing AmAndA is always a great experience and is never boring.  Also the metal heads discovered this music with some interest but obviously not for all the songs.

The music of AmAndA is always enriched with a theatrical show. Thibaut de Halleux always starts the show dressed with a smoking and using various artifacts, like gloves with led lights on the tip of the fingers, a Venetian white mask with also lights in the eye holes, a flash light to shoot the musicians and the public. He also invited the hosts of the evening on stage to sing with him. It was definitely a “spectacula magnifica”.


01. Alexandrie
02. Sontes Latent
03. Le faux éveil
04. Welcome
05. Qui est Amanda?
06. Voilà
07. Gloria Victis
08. Les choses equivalentes
09. Blonde
10. La maisonde flore
11. Demain

Music 9
Performance 9
Sound 7
Light --
Total 8.7

Skeptical Minds

Those who have attended the two latest editions of Metal Voices Female Festival know Skeptical Minds very well. This electro-metal band was formed in 2003 by Vincent (keyboards and programming) who has in the mean time left the band. Skeptical Minds are Kristell (Vocals), Michel (Guitar), Pascal (Bass) and Gab (Drums, keyboards, programming). They released their first album “Rent to kill” in 2005. In August 2006 the band has signed a licensing deal for Rent to Kill with USA label Sirenette Music Industries (SMI). This license will allow SMI the pressing rights for the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The band is now working on a new album foreseen to be released this summer, but which will be preceded in spring by a mini CD with 3 titles and a video clip of the single. Watch your back!

The Brussels quartet started the show with “Kissing the white goddess”, their traditional first song on stage, which is a good warm up for the beautiful voice of Kristell which sounds a bit like Björk. The second song, Skeleton key, is a brand new song which they never played before live. This song reveals the evolution of the band towards more rhythmic, richer and better arranged songs. The band played four other songs from their new album to come and which sounds promising.

After almost three years of stage experience, Kristell is demonstrating a very good presence and her voice has been perfect during the whole show. Pascal seems also to have more and more fun with his bass and is making sometimes funny mimics; sometimes he is looking very brutal. I think for the first time, Pascal and Michel were wearing the same T-shirt of Celtic Frost. For one song, Michel left his place at the guitar to Sebastien, a fan of the band. It was clear that the band was surrounded by many friends ready to party after the show for the birthday of Mich.

01. Kissing the white goddess
02. Skeleton key
03. Eat and hate
04. The beauty must die
05. Rent to kill
06. I love you
07. Schyzophrenia
08. Black porcelain
09. Treasure felony
10. Watch your back
11. Charlot
12. Back to desire

Music 9
Performance 8
Sound 7
Light --
Total 8.3

Photography: Stéphane Odent (

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